Moscow [Russia], May 26 (ANI/Sputnik): Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said that relations between Russia and the United States were now in a very bad state, but in this regard he called himself an "ineradicable optimist" and recalled that their meetings with US President Ronald Reagan at one time gave an impetus to the destruction of 85 per cent of nuclear arsenals of the Cold War.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden will meet in Geneva on June 16, the Kremlin said earlier. The parties will discuss issues of strategic stability, the fight against the pandemic, the international agenda and regional conflicts.
"Today they [Russian-US relations] are in a very bad state, but I am an ineradicable optimist. I remember how it was in the mid-80s: it seemed like a complete dead end, darkness. But we proceeded from the fact that there are people here, and there are people there, and here are problems, and there are problems. But both here and there, there is a feeling and desire -- it is necessary to deal with the problems, normalize relations," Gorbachev told Sputnik.
He recalled that it was then -- in the second half of the 1980s -- that they met with President Reagan, first in Geneva and then in Reykjavik.
"We raked up all the rubbish that had accumulated. The main impetus came from above, the president and I gave this impetus. And if it were not for these two meetings, nothing would have happened. And then we gave such an impetus that today 85 percent of the nuclear arsenals of the Cold War have been destroyed," the former Soviet leader said.
"I hope that both presidents are going to this meeting with a positive attitude," Gorbachev added. (ANI)